Monday, January 25, 2016

Brand Spotlight: belif

Disclaimer:  All products mentioned were purchased by me with my own funds.  All opinions expressed are my own

Every once in a while I find a brand that I become absolutely obsessed with.  One of those brands has been the Korean skincare brand belif. belif combines herbal apothecary traditions with modern Korean skin science. I have only tried three of their products but I love everything I have used and am eager to try more.  

Cleansing Herb Water easily removes makeup and leaves skin soothed, fresh, and deep cleansed. This moisture-rich formula contains tri-herb tea complex;  Saint John's Wort to keep skin healthy looking and clear; Burdock to leave skin soft and supple; and Dill to sooth and calm skin. It is formulated for even the most sensitive skin types, refreshing the skin without leaving an oily residue.

I am on my second bottle of this cleansing water.  First of all, it smells AMAZING!  I like to use a cleansing water in the morning in lieu of a traditional cleanser.  This removes any dirt that may have settled on my face during the night, without drying out my skin.  I find it so calming and it also leaves my skin super soft.  This is by far one of my favorite cleansing waters.  

Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner is a botanical toner with a unique gel-liquid formula that’s designed to hydrate and balance normal to oily skin to create an even and deeply moisturized complexion after cleansing. Formulated with bergamot, to balance and sooth, and sage, a natural antioxidant that leaves skin even and deeply hydrated. 

I have been a little obsessed with toners lately.  I'm not sure why, but I find myself with about 4 different toners in my  collection.  I like this because it is a little thicker than other toners; it has a gel-like consistency that you can just press into your skin with your fingers/hands.  It absorbs well into my skin.  It doesn't dry me out and makes my skin feel soft and hydrated.

The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb is designed for normal to dry skin types to provide the skin with intense hydration, leaving it supple, smooth, and deeply nourished for up to 26 hours. This formula contains a blend of apothecary herbs, including comfrey leaf, which detoxifies skin, leaving it smooth, soft, and clear  The cushiony cream format is designed to 'burst' when applied, releasing a flood of moisture onto skin, and then absorb completely without stickiness for a healthy, smooth, supple appearance. 

I received this in a Play! by Sephora box (deluxe sample size pictured) and was a little scared at first because of the color (it is blue).  I immediately fell in love with it.  It is not super thick  and absorbs really well.  I can use it in the morning and not have to wait before applying my make-up.  It also leaves my skin super soft and moisturized.  Because it is lightweight yet very hydrating it would be great all year long.

belif is sold exclusively at Sephora and in the US.

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Disclaimer:  All products mentioned were purchased by me with my own funds.  All opinions expressed are my own

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January Birchbox: Korean Beauty Favorites

This month's Featured Birchbox was curated by esthetician and cofounder of Soko Glam, Charlotte Cho. Featuring soothing masks, a fresh lip tint, an essence that helps skin retain moisture, and more, this box features the brightest stars in K-Beauty.

As with all the featured/guest editor curated boxes, subscribers know all the contents of the box before choosing.  Having two subscriptions, I usually choose the featured box as one of my boxes.  

Beauty Planner Cucumber Soothing + Moisturizing Mask, Manefit (full-size, $10) - "Infused with cucumber, this sheet mask soothes, tones, and restores moisture to dry skin." I have been obsessed with sheet masks lately so I am excited to try this.  (sample-size 1 mask/$2 value)

Flash Cream Radiant Primer, IPKN (full-size, $28) - Described as "Rich in fruit extracts, this nourishing SPF 15 primer creates a smooth, luminous canvas for makeup." I really like the texture of this.  It is moisturizing and absorbs really well.  I didn't have to wait for it to dry before applying my foundation and it smells really nice.  (sample-size 7 ml/$4.90 value)

Delight Tony Tint in Red, TONYMOLY (full-size, $6) - Described as a "lightweight super pigmented lip stain that dries quickly for a sheer, matte finish that won't budge all day."  This is a nice stain.  I also received on in my sample choice box. (sample size unknown)

Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb, RE:P (full-size, $41) - "This soothing mask uses organic herb and kaolin clay to reduce redness and deeply cleanse pores."  I love clay masks.  They tighten pores and calm my skin.  I am probably going to use this tonight! (sample-size 20 g/$6.31 value)

Waterest First Essence, Goodal (full-size, $30) - "This high-tech formula includes hyaluronic acid and fermented lotus flower to help skin retain moisture."  Essences are really popping up everywhere as of late, so I am excited to try this out.  (sample-size 6 ml/$1.20 value)

Yerba Mate Cleansing Foam & Yerba Mate Bubble PeelingGoodal (full-size, $20/$33) - The cleansing foam "harnesses the healing powers of plants from around the world to soothe, nourish, and protect the skin" while the peel "doubles as both a peel and a scrub to gently remove dead skin with salicylic acid." (each sample-size 5 ml/combined $3.97 value)

The total value of this box (minus the lip stain) is $18.38.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Beauty Haul

A new year calls for new products so I have done a little shopping as of late . . . who am I kidding?  I didn't go shopping because its a new year, I went shopping because I have a  bit of a shopping problem.  (hehe)  In any event, I have a beauty haul for you today from Sephora, Ulta, MAC, Henri Bendel and LUSH.  I have quite a few products, so let's just get right to it!

It's no surprise that I have many new purchases from Sephora. I mean, it's a new year and there is only 11 shopping months left to renew my VIB Rouge status.

Olivia Palermo x Ciate London Mail Collection in Napa Valley,  Ciate - I have been scouring for this polish for a while.  It has been sold out in store for months so I finally pulled the trigger and ordered it online.  It is gorgeous!  I already used it twice on my nails.  It is definitely going to become a staple for me.

#ColorCurators: Song of Style Edition Nail Polish in A Girl's Best Friend, Formula X - I love mildly pink polishes.  I haven't used this yet, but I am sure I will crack it open as soon as I grow bored with the Ciate polish. 

Power Couple Duo: Total Transformation Kit, Sunday Riley - I first bought this duo  as a Christmas gift for my sister and then to decided to get one for myself.  Its such a great way to try both products since the kit comes with half size bottles of each Good Genes Treatment and Luna Sleeping Night Oil at just a fraction of the full size price of just one.

Bergamot Herbal Extract Toner, belief - I have been loving everything I try from this brand.  Since I needed a new toner, I decided to pick this up.

Cleansing Herb Water, belief - This was a repurchase for me.  I usually use a cleansing water in the morning in place of a cleanser.  This one smells great and makes my skin feel clean and soft.

Ceramic Slip Clay Cleanser, Sunday Riley - I love clay masks, so I thought I'd give this cleanser a try.  Sephora even suggests mixing this with Good Genes for a five minute facial mask.

Essential Starter Kit, KEVYN AUCOIN - I never tried anything from KEVYN AUCOIN, so I thought this was a great and affordable way to try out some of the products.  The powders and blush are TINY (the pan is no bigger than a nickel) but for $32 with 5 products in the kit I wasn't expecting too much.

No 28 Primer Serum, Hourglass - This was another repurchase for me.  I have been trying to repurchase for a while but everytime I went to order, it was sold out.  Not only is this a great primer but it treats the skin and smells AMAZING!

I have been hoarding my points for months and decided to redeem some for a few 100 point perks.  Sephora has had some pretty great rewards perks lately including Perfect Hair Day Night Cap Overnight Perfector, Living Proof; Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, Marc Jacobs Beauty; CILS BOOSTER XL Super-Enhancing Mascara Base, Lance; and Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence, Murad

Not only have I been hoarding my Sephora Beauty Insider points, but I have also been saving up my ULTA Rewards.  Since I had $30 in Rewards burning a hole in my pocket I had to pop in and look around.

Brow Set, Real Techniques - This is a new product for 2016. I couldn't yet find it listed on Ulta's website.  It comes with 2 sets of tweezers, a spoolie, a brow brush and a brow definer.

Iconic Baked Sculpting Lipstick in Broadway Plum, Laura Geller - I was a little hesitant about this color because it looks so dark in the tube but its actually a really pretty berry. 

Butter Lipstick in Little Susie, NYX Cosmetics - I hear a lot of raves about the butter lipstick but didn't own any before this one.  Estes Lalonde (Essiebutton) had this on in a recent video and I just loved the color so much I had to get it. 

Nude Interlude Color Balm Lipstick in Meg, Stila - I picked this up on a whim and not sure if I like it.  It is supposed to compliment fair skin, so I think it might too a little too light for me.  

I stopped at the MAC counter to check out the new Retro Matte's and picked up one along with a gloss.

Cremesheen Glass in Calypso Beat, MAC Cosmetics - I was looking for a peachy nude gloss so the sale associate suggested this.  It is a nice formula and not to sticky.

Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Tailored to Tease, MAC Cosmetics - I was really excited when I heard about these.  They are pretty easy to apply and wear for a matte and this color is a great everyday bright pink.

Henri Bendel was having a sale one day last week for 20% off all sale cosmetic accessories.  

Brown & White Shower Cap, Henri Bendel - I can't live without a shower cap.  Since I don't wash my hair everyday, I shower cap is a necessity for me.  

West 57th Cosmetic Clutch in Rose Gold, Henri Bendel - I didn't really need another make-up bag but since this was significantly discounted there was no way I could pass it by.  When everything was said in done, I ended up getting 60% off the original price.  It is pretty big so I probably won't use it as an everyday make-up case but it would be great for traveling.  

I don't have a ton of products from LUSH, but went in with my sister so she could pick up a few things, and ended up buying a couple things myself.  

Golden Handshake Hot Hand Mask, LUSH - This is an oil hot mask for your hands . . . it is just the ticket for dry winter hands.

Pumice Power, LUSH - I have been using a pumice on my feet for years.  I love the idea of having a pumice and soap in one. 

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Monday, January 18, 2016

January Birchbox: Sample Choice

It has been a VERY long time since I did a Birchbox review.  Last year Birchbox really upped their game with guest editor curated boxes and sample choices, so after subscribing for years I decided to sign up for a second subscription.  This month, Birchbox offered a choice between their regular box with a choice of one sample (all other items a surprise) or the feature box full of Korean Beauty favorites.  Having two subscriptions, I chose one of each. 

This is what was in my sample choice box:

For the sample choice box, Birchbox gave subscribers a choice between Eyeko Fat Liquid Eyeliner, TONYMOLY Delight tint and IPKN Flash Cream Radiant Primer.  I didn't end up selecting a sample and instead let Birchbox select it for me.  I ended up getting two  of the choices in my box.

Bombshell Blowout Spray, amika (full-size, $24)  This is described as a "lightweight styler that volumizes, smooths, and protects for a sleek yet bouncy 'do."  I feel like I keep getting this product in my birchbox. I don't mind it.  When I do blow dry my hair, it helps make it smoother and holds my style longer.  (sample size 1 oz/$3 value)

Lait- Creme Concentre, Embryolisse (full-size, $28) This is described as "a make-up artist fave, this french moisturizer heals dryness and preps skin for foundation."  I had purchased this full size last winter when my skin was feeling super dry.  This was a miracle product for my skin and never felt greasy.  I am excited to have received this in a sample/travel size.  (sample size 5 ml/$1.87 value)

DEATH VALLEY Dry Shampoo, R+Co (full-size, $29) "Style-refreshing spray that saps excess oil, give hair volume and body, and adds tousled texture"  I have received this as a sample before as well. I have not yet tried it for no other reason except that I have so many dry shampoos that I am working through.  It have received good reviews so I am excited to try it.  (sample size 1.6 oz/$7.37 value)

Fat Liquid Liner, Eyeko (full-size, $16) "The eyeliner delivers the same smudgeproof  rich color in a thicker, bolder line than the original skinny liner."  I have been really into  liquid eyeliner lately, so I used this immediately.  I am obsessed!  Its so easy to use and does not budge at all.  I only wish it came in other colors.  (received full size)

Delight Tony Tint in Red, TONYMOLY (full-size, $6) Described as a "lightweight super pigmented lip stain that dries quickly for a sheer, matte finish that won't budge all day."  This is a nice stain.  It gives me that just bitten cherry lip. (sample size unknown)

The total value of this box (minus the lip stain) is $28.24

Stay tuned for my reveal of my Korean Beauty Favorites Birchbox.

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